Registration – Winter 2021

Upperclass students will notice that registration for winter 2021 will work differently than previous registrations you’ve experienced at Bates.  The registration cycle typically takes more than three weeks, followed by an add/drop period, and due to the changes in the academic calendar, the fact that students will complete the fall semester away from campus, and students’ need to balance courses across modules and whether their courses are in-person, remote, or hybrid, the registration process this year will be considerably shorter and simpler.


Registration for winter 2021 will mimic the add/drop period in many ways. The system will open on a space-available basis first to seniors, then juniors, then sophomores, then first years. Each class will have a full day of registration before it opens to the next group of students and once registration is open to you, it will remain open until the last day to add for module C in January. The registration schedule is:

  • Monday, November 16 at 7:00am: Registration opens for seniors
  • Tuesday, November 17 at 7:00am: Registration opens for juniors (Seniors may still add and drop.)
  • Wednesday, November 18 at 7:00am: Registration opens for sophomores (Seniors and juniors may still add and drop.)
  • Thursday, November 19 at 7:00am: Registration opens for first-year students (All other classes may still add and drop.)
  • Registration will then be open to all students through January 20, 2021 for module C courses and March 11, 2021 for module D and full semester courses.

Because registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis, you’ll be able to make selections and adjust your choices based on real-time enrollment information – once you’re in a course, you’re in. This is a change from the prior system where you had to wait for optimization to be run to find out if you’ve gotten into your courses. Also, if a course that you’re interested in fills before you’re able to register and you need to choose something else with open seats, you’ll be able to make that change right in the moment rather than needing to wait a week or two until add/drop opens. There will be no need to petition.

Reserved Seats

We recognize that underclass students or students needing to complete major/minor requirements may be concerned about the availability of seats.  Faculty have the option to reserve seats for certain groups of students – namely, by class year and by major.  These numbers will be displayed with the course in the Schedule of Courses. 

See our Helpsheet on Reserved Seats for details


Waitlisting allows students to add themselves to the waitlist of a full course and be notified if seats become available when another student elects to drop a course.  This information is visible in the Schedule of Courses. Waitlists are not available for courses with reserved seats.

See our Helpsheet on Waitlisting for details.

Advising and Registration Holds

You will need to make arrangements to meet with your advisor to have your advisor hold lifted before you’re able to register.  Because of the changes this registration cycle, we urge you to meet with your advisor as soon as you are both available to discuss your registration plans. 

This is also a great time to review any other holds you might have on your record.  You can access that information via the Garnet Gateway – look for the “Holds” link under the “Current” menu.  Because registration is first-come, first-served, it’s important that you clear any holds prior to your registration window opening.

While we realize this new method of registering is a big shift from what you’re used to, we’re optimistic that the simplicity of the process, having more detail as you make your decisions, and being able to finalize your schedule during a single registration session will make for a positive experience.  

As always, contact us with questions or concerns at